Location: Entrance to 'The world as a stage' exhibition, 3rd floor Tate Modern
Date: Midday, New Year's eve, 2007
Gallery guard (whilst handing me a brochure to the exhibition): Police hand olive branch to Smith
Me: what did you say?
Gallery guard: Police hand olive branch to Smith. This is new, Tino Sehgal, 2003
Me: why did you say that?
Guard: It is Tino Sehgal's work for this exhibition. I choose a headline from a newspaper. I say the headline to the visitor when I hand them their exhibition brochure. If they they something in reply I repeat the headline and add
the words 'This is new, Tino Sehgal, 2003'. If they ask any other questions I can explain the work in any way I like. But mostly people don't say anything, they look at me as if I was mad, or they just walk in.
Me: Why did you chose 'Police hand olive branch to Smith'?
Guard: I was in a rush today so I just picked the first headline I saw. I can pick any headline I like but it has to come from todays paper.
Me: So the headline changes every day then?
Guard: Yes, and if I want to I can change it during the day too. One day I chose the headline 'Bad shoes can cost you your leg' and I had to change it because a lady took offence and asked me whether I thought she was wearing bad shoes. When I used the headline 'free sex parties for tourists' people's ears would always prick up whenever I said the word 'sex', that got a reaction from everyone.
Me: (stepping backwards as I saw a middle-aged lady coming towards the exhibition entrance): thank you for explaining that, have a nice new year.
Guard: (handing an exhibition brochure to the lady): Police hand olive branch to Smith.
Lady: thank you
Two young ladies approach
Guard (handing them each an exhibition brochure): Police hand olive branch to Smith
1st Young lady: sorry, what did you say?
Guard: Police hand olive branch to Smith. This is new, Tino Sehgal.2003
1st young lady: Ahh, right. Thank you